IRA informer Eamon Collins' killers should be expected, say police on 20th anniversary of 'grotesque' murder

Police have renewed their appeal to the killing of the IRA informer Eamon Collins on the 20th anniversary of his savage murder.

And they say that we should be in the coming weeks.

The 45-year-old father of four was deliberately knocked out while walking with his dogs in the Doran's Hill area of ​​Newry in a revenge attack on his former comrades.

What followed was an attack later described as "grotesque" and thought to have been carried out by the Provisional IRA. Collins was stabbed in the face and head times until he was unrecognizable and he was unhappy to have an open coffin for his funeral.

Police later recovered a DNA profile from one of the killer gang and believe the attacker is a serious injury in the attack.

Detective Inspector Conor Sweeney from Legacy Investigation Branch said: "Eamon Collins was attacked while walking his dogs in the peaceful, lonely early hours of the morning.

"A car full of people pulled up beside him and launched a sudden, sustained and savage assault." "Be on the body with blunt objects and stabbed repeatedly in the head and face.

"It's a fact that elements of Eamon Collins have been highly publicized in the media and other public records. However, that suit was behind him and he himself had publicly rejected violence and turned away from those involved in such violence.

"At the time of his brutal murder, Eamon was simply a devoted husband and a loving father." The killers left in their destructive wake a grieving widow and four fatherless children. "

A recklessly courageous individual.

Collins played a role in the IRA's intelligence and internal security network. In 1985 he turned supergrass after being arrested by police in his relatives and retracted statements under pressure from his family.

He had been charged with five murders and dozens or terrorist offenses but was not convicted and returned to live in New York at the staunchly republican Barcroft Estate.

In 1996, Collins wrote a devastating expose of the IRA, Killing Rage, based on his life as a terrorist. The British Army officer Robert Nairac in 1977 and how his body was disposed or in a meat mincer.

He also infuriated the IRA by describing it as a chaotic, anarchic organization whose members were happiest when they were in the pub.

Collins also wrote and featured in numerous articles for national newspapers. He was vocal in criticizing republican violence and had been threatened numerous times by the IRA before his death.

Coroner John Lecky, at the inquest into Collins' death, said his murder was one of the most brutal, horrific and grotesque murders they had encountered.

Neil Belton, editor for publishers Granta described Collins as "a recklessly courageous individual who had some way of publicly atoning for what he had done through the book, it is a tragic, tragic waste".

We are close to identifying killers.

Detective Inspector Conor Sweeney continued: "Detectives will be a number of lines of inquiry in the weeks ahead.

"A full DNA profile has been recovered from the crime scene, we believe this DNA profile has been left in one of the killer gates." With the advances in DNA technology, I believe we are close to identifying this person.

"However, police are always reliant on helping us solve such crimes.

"In this instance, the DNA profile was extracted from the blood left at the scene, forensic analysis of the blood tells us that the person who left it was male, and that he himself suffered a severe injury during this frenzied attack.

"There will be people in the community, whether in the Newry area or anywhere else, who are aware of an acquaintance, a relative, a neighbor suffering such an unexplained wound. Eamon Collins' murder This is information that we need people to tell us.

"20 years have now passed since this merciless killing. I ask those who were involved, or heard accounts of what happened, either in the immediate aftermath or indeed over the years, to think about the devastating effect this has had on Eamon's family, and to come forward to the police.

"A number of people were involved in Eamon's murder. They know who they are and they are going to live with that for the rest of their lives. While they are not before the courts today, police will continue the investigation with the objective of putting them there. I would appeal to Eamon's family by making themselves known.

"We are appealing for assistance from the local community whom we can still help you, despite the amount of time which has elapsed. Anyone with information can contact detectives at Legacy Investigation Branch on 101 or Alternatively, information can also be provided on the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak and stop. "

Belfast Telegraph Digital